How To Create A Social Media Risk Management Plan

May 12, 2023 10 min read

If you're a business owner or marketer who uses social media to promote your brand, you know that managing your online presence can be both exciting and challenging.

Social media platforms offer a powerful way to connect with customers and build your brand, but they can also expose your business to a lot of risks.

Negative customer reviews, controversial posts, and other issues can all create headaches and potentially harm your business's reputation. That's why it's so important to have a plan in place to manage social media risks.

In this post, we'll guide you through the process of identifying social media risks, developing a risk management plan, and using social media management tools can help mitigate some of the risks.

Here's a brief overview of the contents of this article. You can quickly jump to a section of your choice by clicking on it.

Understanding Social Media Risks

Social media risks can take many forms, and it's important to understand the different types of risks that your business may face on social media. Here are some common types of social media risks:

Social media risks can have a significant impact on your business's reputation, revenue, and long-term success. Negative social media activity can damage customer trust and loyalty, result in loss of sales and revenue, and lead to legal or regulatory issues.

Understanding the types of risks is crucial to develop a comprehensive social media risk management plan that can help protect your business's online reputation and ensure long-term success.

Types Of Social Media Risks

Typically, there are four types of social media risks:

Reputation risk: negative comments, reviews, or publicity that can harm your brand's reputation.

Compliance risk: violating laws, regulations, or industry standards.

Security risk: unauthorized access or breaches of sensitive information.

Legal risk: lawsuits or legal actions that can result from social media content.

Financial risk: the potential loss of revenue or profits due to negative social media activity.

Let's understand these risks with some examples:

Inappropriate content: sharing content that is offensive, discriminatory or inappropriate for your audience.

Data breaches: unauthorized access to sensitive data such as customer information or financial data.

Brand hijacking: when someone takes control of your social media account or creates a fake account in your name.

Cyberbullying or harassment: targeted negative activity towards an individual or group.

Crisis communication failures: not responding to negative social media activity in a timely or appropriate manner.

How to Conduct Social Media Risk Assessment?

Once you have a better understanding of the types of social media risks that your business may face, it's important to identify and assess your specific risks. Here are the key steps involved in conducting a risk assessment:

Identify your Business's Social Media Risks

Start by analyzing your social media activity to identify potential risks. This can include reviewing past social media posts, comments, and messages, as well as analyzing your current social media policies and procedures.

Analyze and Prioritize the Risks

Once you've identified potential risks, it's important to analyze each risk and determine its potential impact on your business. Consider the likelihood of the risk occurring, as well as the severity of the impact if it does occur. This can help you prioritize which risks to address first.

Develop a Risk Matrix

A risk matrix is a tool that can help you evaluate and prioritize risks based on their likelihood and potential impact.

The matrix typically consists of a grid with likelihood on one axis and impact on the other, and each risk is plotted based on its likelihood and impact.

This can help you identify high-priority risks that require immediate attention and develop a plan to address them.

Conducting a thorough risk assessment can help you gain a better understanding of the specific social media risks your business is facing and develop a plan to mitigate those risks ensuring reputation control and long-term success on social media.

6-Step Social Media Risk Management Plan

This six-step social media risk management plan can help you identify, assess, and mitigate potential risks. Read on!


1. Define Roles & Responsibilities

When creating a social media risk management plan, it's crucial to define the roles and responsibilities of those involved in its implementation. This step ensures accountability and avoids confusion within the organization.

The process starts with identifying the team members who will be responsible for managing social media risks. This may include individuals from various departments, such as marketing, communications, legal, and IT, depending on the organization's structure and needs.

Now, it's time to assign specific roles and responsibilities to each individual or team. For example, the marketing team may be responsible for creating social media content, while the legal team is responsible for ensuring compliance with regulations and guidelines.

It's also important to define the level of authority each team member has when it comes to making decisions related to social media risk management. This includes defining who has the final say in decision-making processes and who has the power to implement changes to the plan.

Clearly defining roles and responsibilities helps everyone involved in social media risk management understand their specific roles and responsibilities.

This helps to avoid confusion and overlap in duties, ensures accountability, and promotes successful implementation of the risk management plan.

2. Define a Social Media Policy

A social media policy is a set of guidelines that clearly define the rules and expectations for employees and stakeholders when using social media. It helps to mitigate the risks related to inappropriate or harmful behavior on social media.

The policy should be developed in consultation with legal and HR teams to ensure compliance with all relevant laws, regulations, and organizational policies.

The social media policy should include guidelines for appropriate language, tone, content, and how to handle confidential information. It should specify the types of content that are not allowed, such as hate speech, discriminatory remarks, and offensive comments.

The policy should also address issues such as the use of personal social media accounts for business purposes and how employees can represent the organization on social media.

The policy should be communicated to all employees and stakeholders through training and awareness programs. It should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in the social media landscape, organizational needs, and regulatory requirements.

Defining a social media policy ensures organizations that their employees and stakeholders are aware of the expectations and rules around social media use. This can help prevent situations where inappropriate or harmful content is posted on social media, which can damage the organization's reputation and expose it to legal and financial risks.

A good social media policy should help employees make informed decisions when engaging with social media, and ensure that they represent the organization in a professional and appropriate manner. It should act as a facilitator in publishing rather than a hindrance.

3. Monitor your Social Media Accounts

Regular monitoring of social media accounts can help identify and address any potential issues or negative comments in a timely manner. This includes monitoring mentions, comments, and direct messages to respond promptly and effectively.

To make this process easier, consider using a social media management tool. These tools can help you manage and automate your social media accounts, and provide features like keyword monitoring, custom rules, and automated responses to help mitigate risks.

With a social media management tool like Statusbrew, you can efficiently monitor your accounts, quickly respond to potential issues, and ensure that your social media presence is always professional and compliant.

Check out how in the next section!

4. Create a Crisis Communication Plan

A crisis communication plan is a detailed strategy that outlines the actions to be taken in the event of a social media crisis. A social media crisis can occur due to a variety of reasons, such as negative comments, inappropriate posts, or security breaches.

To create an effective crisis communication plan, it is essential to identify potential crisis scenarios and establish a clear chain of command to ensure a prompt response. The plan should include details of who to notify in the event of a crisis, such as the social media team, public relations department, or legal counsel.

The plan should also outline the steps to be taken in response to the crisis, including how to address negative comments, how to remove inappropriate content, and how to communicate with stakeholders.

It is important to develop key messages that can be communicated across all social media platforms to ensure consistency in the response.

Regularly testing and updating the crisis communication plan is crucial to ensure its effectiveness. It is recommended to conduct regular training sessions for the team members to ensure they are familiar with the plan and can act promptly in the event of a crisis.

5. Incorporate Employee Training & Education

Incorporating employee training and education into your social media risk management plan is a critical step to ensure that all employees are equipped to handle potential risks that may arise.

Training sessions should focus on educating employees about the different types of social media risks and how they can impact the business.

For example, employees should be trained on how to recognize and respond to negative comments, fake news, and potential data breaches. They should also be provided with guidelines on how to use social media channels professionally and responsibly.

Moreover, it's important to outline the consequences of inappropriate social media use, such as reputational damage, loss of business, and legal repercussions. This will help employees understand the gravity of social media risks and take necessary precautions.

Regular training sessions and reminders can help keep employees informed and up-to-date on the latest social media risks and best practices.

Additionally, providing resources such as a social media policy or a social media playbook can serve as a guide for employees to refer to and follow.

6. Test & Update Your Plan

This process involves regular risk assessments to identify new risks or changing risks, which can be addressed by updating the plan's guidelines and procedures.

In addition, regularly testing your crisis communication plan is important to ensure that it is still relevant and effective in addressing any potential crises that may arise.

Conducting mock drills and tabletop exercises with your team can help identify any weaknesses or gaps in the plan and address them proactively.

Moreover, social media platforms are constantly evolving, making it essential to keep your social media risk management plan updated with the latest trends and best practices. This will help you stay ahead of potential risks and ensure that your plan is effective in managing them.

Using A Social Media Management Tool For Risk Mitigation

Using a social media management tool in your workflow can help mitigate most of the social media risks. You can automate moderation, keyword monitoring, and set up custom rules to flag and respond to potential risks in real-time.

These tools can help manage and monitor multiple social media accounts from a single platform, making it easier to track and respond to potential risks across different channels.

Here are a few ways to use social media management tools to mitigate social media risks:

Real-time monitoring

Real-time monitoring of social media platforms allows you to quickly identify and respond to any negative or potentially harmful comments or mentions.

With Statusbrew, you can monitor multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, in one place. You can set up custom keyword and hashtag monitoring to stay updated on any mentions that may require your attention.

Additionally, you can monitor comments, mentions, and direct messages to respond promptly to any issues or negative comments.

Statusbrew also provides automated moderation features, including sentiment analysis, spam filtering, and profanity filtering, to help reduce the risks of inappropriate content or comments on your social media accounts.


Content approval workflows

Content approval workflows ensure that all content published on social media platforms is reviewed and approved by designated team members to mitigate the risk of inappropriate or off-brand content being published.

Approval workflows allow you to set up multiple reviews, involve different stakeholders, and establish specific rules for each approval step. It provides clarity, ensures consistency, and enables better control over the content approval process.


Access controls

Social media managers can limit access controls and permissions to only the people who can post on social media platforms, reducing the risk of unauthorized or inappropriate content being published.

When used with approval workflows, it ensures that every content piece goes through an additional level of scanning.

Statusbrew provides granular access and permissions controls to mitigate social media risks. Its advanced access controls allow users to assign different roles and permissions to team members to ensure that only authorized individuals can access specific social media accounts and perform certain actions.

Moreover, it provides 2FA and login tracking to enhance security and prevent unauthorized access. Statusbrew also tracks the team activity and logs it in an audit trail, making it easy to monitor who did what and when.

This way, organizations can maintain control over their social media accounts and prevent any unauthorized activity or security breaches.

Compliance management

Social media management tools can provide features like archiving and audit logs, which can help in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Very few tools, like Statusbrew, provide a feature to set up moderation on publishing activities.

At Statusbrew, we use our Publish Rules feature to approve or reject posts that may contain harmful keywords automatically. Here's how it works!

When a new post is created, or an existing post is updated, you can automatically trigger actions like post rejection, sending it for approval, or sending team alerts to your preferred channel based on certain filters.

This ensures that the content that doesn’t meet the brand guidelines are automatically rejected or is sent for a review to the approver.

If the approver chooses to reject the post, they can add the rejection reason for why the post was rejected.

Rejection reasons help untrained team members to learn and understand the company's content standards and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.


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Jagdish Purohit

Jagdish is a seasoned Content Marketer with a profound understanding of digital marketing and reputation management. He enjoys shooting hoops, cycling, and cooking vegan recipes in his spare time.

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